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Friday, 20 August 2010

National 12 'Ribbie' Sailing

he fleet of 5 Ribbed National Twelves dating from 1936 to 1953 gathered again at the Club on Sunday 15th August for the 3rd ‘Ribbie’ event of the season. The previous event 6 weeks before had to be curtailed due to fairly strong winds, one bent (metal) mast and an unwillingness to find out the extent that wooden masts can bend! This time the assembled sailors were greeted by sunshine and a light northerly breeze. Tim Gatti had worked hard getting the boats ready (four of these boats belong to him) and sorting helms and crews for the event (not helped by it being the holiday season and injuries to some of the regular teams).

Each competing team was allocated a boat for the first race and five short races of approximately 20 minutes each were to be run. After every race crews change boats and all races count for the day’s results thus each team has equal chance of success. Ken Goddard and Ann Britton from Trent Valley SC had come up for the day to experience ‘Ribbie racing’ for the first time, whereas the rest had participated in at least one of these events beforehand.

The Race Officers Neil and Rachel set a short course with a 3, 2, 1, Go! start sequence to keep things moving, however the first start was slightly delayed whilst cordial relationships were maintained with other users of the Tarn (fishermen and the Model Boat Club) and the course adjusted to suit

Howard Chadwick and Helen Nicholson sailing in N341 Mat, an Uffa King built in 1938, led off the first start and looked to have the race in the bag but John Cheetham and Gail Kaye sailing N711 Sinner, a Gnome design built in 1949, kept pushing and got inside berth at the last leeward mark and held a slender lead to the finish. On the first leg Ken and Ann sailing N1183 Tessa, a Procter Mark 2 built in 1953, managed to find a major hole in wind at the windward mark and trailed the rest in!

What should have a quick turnaround between races was somewhat extended while Tim Gatti and Vanessa Kennedy played with the steel centreplate on Sinner to get it to hang properly.

After a brief delay the now slightly damp pair rejoined the rest of the fleet and race 2 got underway. This time Philip David and Tace Morgan sailing Mat won the start but John and Gail sailing Tessa got the shifts right as they closed the windward mark to take the lead, closely followed by Howard and Helen sailing N493 Laughter, a 1945 Holt 500 design. Philip and Tace caught Howard by the windward mark the second time around and they held that order down to the leeward mark finish.

Some frantic balling was required in all boats to empty them before a quick turnaround for the third race. The practice of two starts already meant that everybody was on the start line with John and Gail getting the best start in N2 Goldcrest, a Barnt Green design built in 1936. Tim and Vanessa, sailing Tessa tried to find more wind on the other side of the tarn to the rest and for a while it looked promising but when they tacked back in they arrived mid fleet. Philip and Tace sailing Laughter chased Howard and Helen in Sinner. The remaining three had a close race all the way round with John and Gail just crossing ahead of Tim and Vanessa and Ken and Ann sailing Mat on the last tack.

A quick break was held because by this point we were running out of time to get the next two races in before normal Club racing was due to start at 2.30. Unfortunately the wind hadn’t read the script and it went light and patchy.

Ken had halyard issues, but that gave everybody else chance to do more bailing before the start of the fourth race. Tim and Vanessa sailing Goldcrest were too eager and were over the line at the start so they had to chase the rest in a dying breeze. Philip and Tace, sailing Sinner, coped with the conditions best and lead the fleet round to the finish.

With the Club fleet starting to get ready for the afternoon’s racing the turnaround for the last race had to be a quick one. Luckily for the OOD the breeze returned for the start of the last race but went again by the time the fleet got to the windward mark. Tim and Vanessa sailing Mat lead round the windward mark but then for some reason ended up spinning around as the wind did something strange to them. This allowed John and Gail sailing Laughter into the lead. Philip and Tace, in Tessa, managed to slide past the other two at the windward mark, and then glided past Tim still trying to get Mat pointing in the right direction! By the leeward mark the fleet closed up again. The beat had become a fetch but John and Gail managed to maintain their narrow lead and lead the fleet round the next two marks to finish the race which was shorten at the wing mark. This allowed the bare minimum time for Neil and Rachel to be able to finish the Twelves, and then set up the start for the Club Race a few minutes later!!!!

Big thanks to Tim for organising the event and for keeping the fleet in fine condition, to Gerard Kennedy and Ian Morgan for feeding us bacon butties and mugs of tea and to Neil and Rachel for managing to get the 5 races in just before the normal Club races were due to start.

Unfortunately the final event of the season due for October has had to be cancelled as Tim is due to start his boat building course shortly and will be spending most of his time over the coming months either in Lowestoft, or travelling between Lowestoft and Bradford, and every body wishes him the best of luck with that!

The Results

The Crews:-

1st John Cheetham and Gail Kaye 9pts

2nd Philip David and Tace Morgan 9pts

3rd Howard Chadwick and Helen Nicholson 12pts

4th Tim Gatti and Vanessa Kennedy 21pts

5th Ken Goddard and Ann Britton 24pts

And for the Boats:-

1st N711 Sinner – Gnome design

2nd N493 Laughter – Holt 500 design

3rd N1183 Tessa – Procter Mark 2 design

4th N341 Mat – Uffa King design

5th N2 Goldcrest – Barnt Green design

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